Socionext releases latest generation of smart display controllers

1 min read

Continuing a long and successful relationship in automotive platforms, Socionext has licensed APIX3 technology from Inova Semiconductors for its next generation of smart display controllers.

In 2007, Socionext became the first manufacturer to license the APIX interface for its smart display controller and a number of other products and subsequently was also the first licensee of APIX2 and APIX3.

Since then Socionext has expanded its portfolio of display controllers and SoCs with APIX interfaces, and the fourth generation of smart display controllers has already been developed with the designation SC172x. The first samples will be available in the second quarter of 2022.

For the first time, the extended features of the fourth generation also include a repeater function where several graphic controllers can be cascaded. This enables new architectures such as panoramic displays in the dashboard where there is a clear trend towards ever larger or multi-display applications. In addition, new functionalities such as Local Dimming and Warping-on-the-fly will be implemented in order to support more demanding requirements and to achieve system integration.

“Socionext has successfully integrated APIX technology into its smart display controllers and other products over several generations, so that it is now fair to speak of a de facto standard,” said Koichi Yamashita, Corporate Senior Vice President, Head of Automotive Business Unit of Socionext. "Thanks to the high flexibility and the scalable bandwidths, a wide variety of applications can be served in the car - from inexpensive, simple information displays through to sophisticated infotainment systems to safety-relevant instrument clusters."

APIX (Automotive Pixel Link) is a high performance 12 Gbps SerDes (Serializer/Deserializer) technology developed by Inova for high resolution automotive video applications. Typical applications are infotainment and entertainment systems in vehicles.

APIX3 offers different operating modes of 1.5 Gbit/s, 3 Gbit/s, 6 Gbit/s and up to 12 Gbit/s bandwidth and is designed for standard displays (e.g. 2880 x 1080 x 24 bit, 60 Hz) in automobiles, however, video resolutions up to Ultra High Definition (UHD) and colour depths up to 30 bit are also possible.

In addition to versions with HDMI and DSI interfaces, the latest generation features, among other things, a DisplayPort interface and HDCP2.3 encryption, which now also enables the transmission of DSC-compressed video streams with a future-proofed video bandwidth of up to 28.8 Gbps.